Helium is the second most abundant element in the entire Universe, but we are running out of helium here on Earth. That's a bad thing.
Even if auctioning eventually solves the pricing problem, it will never change the fact that helium is not a renewable resource. The National Reserve is expected to be depleted by 2020, and even if it isn’t, under the current law it will have to shut down operations in 2021. In the meantime, the world is scrambling to find alternative coolants, levitators, and sources of helium.
“By the end of the decade,” USGS writes in its 2015 report on helium, “international helium extraction facilities are likely to become the main source of supply for world helium users. Expansions to facilities have been completed as planned in Algeria and Qatar.” China also plans on mining helium-3, which is currently mostly manufactured, off the moon.
Chinese robot helium miners on the Moon - yes, please!
We’ve had a global shortage of helium for years now, but thanks to an aggressive search in Tanzania, scientists have just discovered 54 billion cubic feet of the gas, an amount that can last for several years. Scientists are calling this new approach to helium exploration a “game changer,” according to the AP. The discovery […]
Photo by Crystl, via Flickr (CC, some rights reserved) Physicist Robert Richardson from Cornell University is warning against plans implemented via the Helium Privatization Act to sell off our National Helium Reserve by 2013. Although cryogenic applications in magnetic resonance imaging, semiconductor processing and basic research consume the largest portion of the helium market presently, […]
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]
Ever wonder if you’re cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there’s a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective […]